Senate unveils series of hearings on Russian Federation


In his blow-hot blow-cold approach to Russia, dictated by pressure (and possibly a strategy that both slapping and stroking Russia enables him to retain an upper hand with both Moscow and domestic opposition), Trump has boasted that he has imposed tougher, more biting, sanctions on Russia than his predecessors.

Trump and Putin in front of US and Russian flags.

"I most want to know what President Trump committed to President Putin at the Helsinki conference in the two hours about which we know very little except what Russian Federation is selectively leaking or characterizing", said Sen. "I want to make that perfectly clear".

"I'm very concerned that Russian Federation will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election", Trump wrote.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee and Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho, both Republicans, said in a joint statement that they were "eager to continue the important work being done by our committees to push back on Russian Federation".

Trump, after returning from his widely panned meeting with Putin in Helsinki last week, said he meant to invite Putin to the White House for a follow-up meeting this fall. He referred to Trump's statements at the summit press conference as a "bad moment" for the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to be questioned Wednesday during testimony on the US response as well as Trump's meeting with Putin. Senators Corker and Crapo, along with Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), last summer authored CAATSA, which expanded sanctions against the government of Russian Federation in response to the regime's violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, interference in elections, and current activities in Syria.

Shortly after Trump's appearance with Putin in Helsinki, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued an unusual statement reaffirming his view that Russia's election attacks are already ongoing - something Trump's post on Tuesday did not.

The bill would slap new sanctions on Russian Federation and require a Senate vote for any proposal to withdraw the USA from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

In the United States, two influential the Republican Senator said about the need to promptly prepare new sanctions against Russian Federation. Instead, the Kentucky Republican issued a direct warning to Russian Federation to back off.

Many Republicans joined Democrats in criticising Trump's summit performance.

"We need all of our Republican colleagues to conduct oversight — not just use strong words", said Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel.

The Democrats were today for the first time the favourites to retake control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections on November 6.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter that Trump's warning underscores how much Republicans and Democrats need to work together to fight foreign interference, since the tables can turn against either side. In 2016, he repeatedly claimed the election was "rigged".

The new sanctions push also comes as Pompeo prepares to go to Capitol Hill to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee - the first member of Trump's national security team to go to Congress in the wake of the meeting with Putin, which included a almost two-hour one-on-one sit-down with the Russian President.